The White Building
The simple and functional label of the ‘White Building’ in the Nottingdale Estate in West London befits the structure’s practical design by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. Part of a mixed regeneration project close to Westfield Shopping Centre, this seven-storey ‘warehouse-office’ block faces out onto the Westway, providing a visual connection between the striking Yellow Building on one side, and the smaller Studio Building on the other.
Flexibility was a key principle in the design of this speculative commercial building; its form needed to complement the strong aesthetic of the Yellow Building, home to retail giants Monsoon, but remain appealing to a wide range of clients, allowing the possibility of sixteen separate rentable units on each floor.
We combined reinforced concrete cores at either end of the ‘diamond-shaped’ building for lateral stability with concrete flat slabs and columns in a 9 × 9.5 m grid, creating wide-span floors with few obstructions. The top storey incorporated a loggia set back from the rest, its perimeter columns rising to roof level in alignment with those below to create a colonnade. Given the significant weight of the concrete frame and its inability to cope with differential settlements, we specified piled foundations. A basement covering approximately a third of the building’s plan area was designed to store plant and services; we formed RC walls within a temporary sheet piled wall.
The ‘warehouse’ aesthetic, functional in its use of exposed concrete which maximises the building’s thermal mass and therefore its capacity for natural ventilation, stretches to include precast concrete façades as well as its in its stripped-back interior. We maximised the façade’s efficiency in terms of cost, structure and solar shading by locating perimeter columns to the outside of the cladding. These acted as fins which provided shading, whilst also providing vertical support.
Seven-storey warehouse office block close to Monsoon's headquarters in west London
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
£ 21 million